The New York Pigeon
Author: Andrew Garn
Publisher: powerHouse Books
The New York Pigeon is a photography book that reveals the unexpected beauty of the omnipresent pigeon as if Vogue magazine devoted its pages to birds, rather than fashion models. In spite of pigeons' ubiquity in New York and other cities, we never really see them closely and know very little about their function in the urban ecosystem. This book brings to light the intriguing history, behavior and splendor of a bird that we frequently overlook. The New York Pigeon reveals the unexpected beauty of our omnipresent pigeon. Employing exquisite portraiture that one might find in a fashion magazine, the book features this underappreciated urban bird in a fresh, glamorous light. Finally, the much maligned pigeon gets its 15 minutes. "stool pigeon..." "rats with wings..." Why? What did pigeons ever do to deserve such disrespect? (They mind their own business, they saved lives in World War I and II, and they're beautiful to boot.) Andrew Garn seeks to right this egregious wrong-- through his keen eye, the pigeon is photographed in all its unexpected glory--elevated to its rightful place as a wondrous being of beauty and grace, soaring though time and space. You will never look at pigeons the same way again. In spite of pigeons' ubiquity in New York and other cities, we never really see them closely and know very little about their function in the urban ecosystem. For many New Yorkers, pigeons are the "gateway drug" to nature. The result of eight years of passionate inquiry,The New York Pigeon is a photographic study of the birds' power and allure. The dramatic, hyper-real individual studio portraits capture their personalities, expressiveness, glorious feather iridescence, and deeply hued eyes. High-speed strobe photography illustrates the pigeons' graceful flight and dramatic wing movements. While The New York Pigeon is primarily a photography book, it also tells part of the 5,000-year story of the feral pigeon and their long association with humans. How did Harvard psychologist B.F. Skinner teach pigeons to do complicated tasks, from tracking missile targets to recognizing individual human faces? How do pigeons find their way back home from hundreds of miles away? The New York Pigeon lovingly describes and illuminates the wonder of nature alive in our midst. With this book, the beautiful, savvy, graceful, kind pigeon will be invisible no more.
Author: Andrew D. Blechman
Publisher: Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
A “quirky, endlessly entertaining” look at the surprising history of the pigeon (Simon Winchester). Domesticated since the dawn of man, pigeons have been used as crucial communicators in war by every major historical superpower from ancient Egypt to the United States and are credited with saving thousands of lives. They have been worshipped as fertility goddesses and revered as symbols of peace. Charles Darwin relied heavily on pigeons to help formulate and support his theory of evolution. Yet today they are reviled as “rats with wings.” To research this lively history of the humble pigeon, the author traveled across the United States and Europe to meet with pigeon fanciers and pigeon haters in a quest to find out how we came to misunderstand one of mankind’s most helpful and steadfast companions. Pigeons captures a Brooklyn man’s quest to win the Main Event (the pigeon world’s equivalent of the Kentucky Derby), as well as a convention dedicated to breeding the perfect bird. The author participates in a live pigeon shoot where entrants pay $150; he tracks down Mike Tyson, the nation’s most famous pigeon lover; he spends time with Queen Elizabeth’s Royal Pigeon Handler; and he sheds light on a radical “pro-pigeon underground” in New York City. In Pigeons, Andrew Blechman reveals for the first time the remarkable story behind this seemingly unremarkable bird. “A quick and thoroughly entertaining read, Pigeons will leave readers chuckling at the quirky characters and pondering surprising pigeon facts.” —Audubon Magazine “Manages to illuminate not merely the ostensible subject of the book, but also something of the endearing, repellent, heroic, and dastardly nature of that most bizarre of breeds, Homo sapiens.” —Salon
Author: Courtney Humphries
Publisher: Harper Collins
Why do we see pigeons as lowly urban pests and how did they become such common city dwellers? Courtney Humphries traces the natural history of the pigeon, recounting how these shy birds that once made their homes on the sparse cliffs of sea coasts came to dominate our urban public spaces. While detailing this evolution, Humphries introduces us to synanthropy: The concept that animals can become dependent on humans without ceasing to be wild; they can adapt to the cityscape as if it were a field or a forest. Superdove simultaneously explores the pigeon's cultural transformation, from its life in the dovecotes of ancient Egypt to its service in the trenches of World War I, to its feats within the pigeon-racing societies of today. While the dove is traditionally recognized as a symbol of peace, the pigeon has long inspired a different sort of fetishistic devotion from breeders, eaters, and artists—and from those who recognized and exploited the pigeon's astounding abilities. Because of their fecundity, pigeons were symbols of fertility associated with Aphrodite, while their keen ability to find their way home made them ideal messengers and even pilots. Their usefulness largely forgotten, today's pigeons have become as ubiquitous and reviled as rats. But Superdove reveals something more surprising: By using pigeons for our own purposes, we humans have changed their evolution. And in doing so, we have helped make pigeons the ideal city dwellers they are today. In the tradition of Rats, the book that made its namesake rodents famous, Superdove is the fascinating story of the pigeon's journey from the wild to the city—the home they'll never leave.
Author: Stephen Green-Armytage
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
The photographer for Extraordinary Chickens and Extraordinary Pheasants showcases exotic pigeon breeds from around the world including the Volga Tumbler Pigeons, the Philippine Bleeding Heart Doves, Jacobins, Pouters, and Trumpeters. 25,000 first printing.
Adele Renault is an artist with a deft touch for that which most might find commonplace. From pigeons to people, she focuses her artistry on realistic depictions of ordinary city residents. On canvas, on our walls and in our homes, her feathered friends are wildlife and pets feral yet tame; wary companions that sing to us in silent flights of fancy yet perched in waiting, alive and uncontainable, ready for an open window to make their escape. So present and personable, they dovetail perfectly with her human portraiture, proffering a sense that her paintings of people, rendered with the same attention and loving care as her birds, are perhaps too like all of us, curious birds themselves. To witness Adele turn the entire side of a building into a work of art is truly something to behold. Her ability to attack, to create with such exacting ferocity is in and of itself a piece of performance art
An entertaining and profound look at the lives of birds, illuminating their surprising world—and deep connection with humanity. Birds are highly intelligent animals, yet their intelligence is dramatically different from our own and has been little understood. As we learn more about the secrets of bird life, we are unlocking fascinating insights into memory, relationships, game theory, and the nature of intelligence itself. The Thing with Feathers explores the astonishing homing abilities of pigeons, the good deeds of fairy-wrens, the influential flocking abilities of starlings, the deft artistry of bowerbirds, the extraordinary memories of nutcrackers, the lifelong loves of albatrosses, and other mysteries—revealing why birds do what they do, and offering a glimpse into our own nature. Drawing deep from personal experience, cutting-edge science, and colorful history, Noah Strycker spins captivating stories about the birds in our midst and shares the startlingly intimate coexistence of birds and humans. With humor, style, and grace, he shows how our view of the world is often, and remarkably, through the experience of birds. You’ve never read a book about birds like this one.
Author: Elliott Lang
Publisher: Internet Marketing Business
"The must-have guide for anyone passionate about keeping, breeding or racing pigeons." -- Cover
Author: Frank Povah
The Beautiful series has featured sheep, pigs, cows and chickens. Now pigeons strut forward to be given the studio treatment by a leading portrait photographer. Capturing over 40 of the world's most remarkable fancy pigeon breeds, Beautiful Pigeons displays these gloriously over-the-top birds as you've never seen them before. Pigeons aren't usually thought of as photographic stars, but this line-up of gorgeous models, stylishly lit and shot against studio backgrounds, will enlighten, delight, and astound in equal measure. Each photograph is accompanied by a directory entry on the breed, covering information on its origins, physical attributes, and uses. A succinct introduction explains the history of pigeons and provides an insight into the show scene, while reportage photography offes a "behind the scenes' glimpse of the stars as they prepare for their turn in front of the photographer's lens.
Author: New York Transit Museum
Publisher: Stewart, Tabori and Chang
Chronicles the development of the New York City subway system using original drawings, plans, and period and contemporary photographs; and includes train interiors, architectural details of the stations, and the development of the token.
The Feather Thief
Author: Kirk Wallace Johnson
“Fascinating from the first page to the last—you won’t be able to put it down.” —Southern Living A rollicking true-crime adventure and a thought-provoking exploration of the human drive to possess natural beauty for readers of The Stranger in the Woods, The Lost City of Z, and The Orchid Thief. On a cool June evening in 2009, after performing a concert at London's Royal Academy of Music, twenty-year-old American flautist Edwin Rist boarded a train for a suburban outpost of the British Museum of Natural History. Home to one of the largest ornithological collections in the world, the Tring museum was full of rare bird specimens whose gorgeous feathers were worth staggering amounts of money to the men who shared Edwin's obsession: the Victorian art of salmon fly-tying. Once inside the museum, the champion fly-tier grabbed hundreds of bird skins—some collected 150 years earlier by a contemporary of Darwin's, Alfred Russel Wallace, who'd risked everything to gather them—and escaped into the darkness. Two years later, Kirk Wallace Johnson was waist high in a river in northern New Mexico when his fly-fishing guide told him about the heist. He was soon consumed by the strange case of the feather thief. What would possess a person to steal dead birds? Had Edwin paid the price for his crime? What became of the missing skins? In his search for answers, Johnson was catapulted into a years-long, worldwide investigation. The gripping story of a bizarre and shocking crime, and one man's relentless pursuit of justice, The Feather Thief is also a fascinating exploration of obsession, and man's destructive instinct to harvest the beauty of nature.
Author: John Updike
Publisher: Random House
When this classic collection of stories first appeared—in 1962, on the author’s thirtieth birthday—Arthur Mizener wrote in The New York Times Book Review: “Updike is a romantic [and] like all American romantics, that is, he has an irresistible impulse to go in memory home again in order to find himself. . . . The precise recollection of his own family-love, parental and marital, is vital to him; it is the matter in which the saving truth is incarnate. . . . Pigeon Feathers is not just a book of very brilliant short stories; it is a demonstration of how the most gifted writer of his generation is coming to maturity; it shows us that Mr. Updike’s fine verbal talent is no longer pirouetting, however gracefully, out of a simple delight in motion, but is beginning to serve his deepest insight.”
Author: Leila Rudge
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Originally published: Newtown, N.S.W.: Walker Books Australia, 2016.
A dazzling anthology of avian-themed fiction guaranteed to frighten and delight, edited by one of the most acclaimed horror anthologists in the genre. Birds are usually loved for their beauty and their song. They symbolize freedom, eternal life, the soul. There’s definitely a dark side to the avian. Birds of prey sometimes kill other birds (the shrike), destroy other birds’ eggs (blue jays), and even have been known to kill small animals (the kea sometimes eats live lambs). And who isn’t disgusted by birds that eat the dead—vultures awaiting their next meal as the life blood flows from the dying. One of our greatest fears is of being eaten by vultures before we’re quite dead. Is it any wonder that with so many interpretations of the avian, that the contributors herein are eager to be transformed or influenced by them? Included in Black Feathers are those obsessed by birds of one type or another. Do they want to become birds or just take on some of the “power” of birds? The presence or absence of birds portends the future. A grieving widow takes comfort in her majestic winged neighbors, who enable her to cope with a predatory relative. An isolated society of women relies on a bird to tell their fortunes. A silent young girl and her pet bird might be the only hope a detective has of tracking down a serial killer in a tourist town. A chatty parrot makes illegal deals with the dying. A troubled man lives in isolation with only one friend for company—a jackdaw. In each of these fictions, you will encounter the dark resonance between the human and avian. You see in yourself the savagery of a predator, the shrewd stalking of a hunter, and you are lured by birds that speak human language, that make beautiful music, that cypher numbers, and seem to have a moral center. You wade into this feathered nightmare, and brave the horror of death, trading your safety and sanity for that which we all seek—the promise of flight.
Author: Stephen Kelman
Publisher: A&C Black
Deeply funny, moving, idiosyncratic and unforgettable - introduces a major new literary talent. Pigeon English was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2011.
The epic story of why passenger pigeons became extinct and what that says about our current relationship with the natural world.